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Utilising Sandplay in Treating the Impact of Refugee Trauma: A case study of an Iraqi boy

Utilising Sandplay in Treating the Impact of Refugee Trauma: A case study of an Iraqi boy

Most children from refugee backgrounds and their families have survived multiple traumatic events that had a negative impact on the children’s development and their psychological wellbeing. Assisting the child’s recovery and addressing the traumatic memories can be challenging for the therapist due to the child’s still developing cognitive and verbal abilities, and the implicit nature of traumatic memories. The use of non-verbal techniques is often required. Sandplay therapy engages children in symbolic play in a free and protected space. Through the use of the sand tray and a selection of figurines, in the presence of a therapist, the child is able to process traumatic material at their own pace, in a way that is congruent with their developmental stage. The case of an 8 year old Iraqi boy will be used to demonstrate Sandplay therapy at STARTTS. Sanja will outline the rationale for this approach, the process of sandplay with this child and the therapeutic outcomes.